"A thorough traveler must be something of a geologist, something of a botanist, an archaeologist, an ornithologist, an artist, a philosopher, and so on. Through it all he is likely to be friendly with a camera. He must be agreeable in society, contented in solitude, enthusiastic and patient as a fisherman."—Dave Rust
In the fall of 1897, Dave Rust, a young placer miner from Caineville, Utah, looked up from his sluice box on the Colorado River and gazed at the brilliant sandstone cliffs of Glen Canyon. He wasn’t finding much gold, but he knew that this landscape abounded in scenic beauty and that people would pay good money to see it. A quarter century later, he would fulfill his dream of taking adventurous travelers through this stunning canyon in his little canvas-covered canoes. By that time he had amassed a comprehensive knowledge of the geologic wonders of the Colorado Plateau province of Utah and Arizona, and each summer he led month-long pack trips through a mind-boggling variety of cliffs, mesas, mountaintop overlooks, and hidden desert canyons.
David D. Rust (1874–1963) grew up in south-central Utah, and as a young man he worked a variety of jobs. But the canyon country always called to him, and for more than three decades he was the premier backcountry outfitter and guide in southern Utah. He felt that travel was more than a pastime—it was a chance to enrich one’s mind, and he showed the way to achieve a deep understanding of the Colorado Plateau’s fabulous landforms.
Winner of the Evans Biography Award, the Utah State History Association's Best Utah History Book Award, the Mormon History Association Turner-Bergera Best Biography Award, the Utah State Division of History Francis Armstrong Madsen Best Utah History Book Award, and the Utah Book Award in Nonfiction.